- August 26, 2022
- By Joshua Reid
- Advice , Technology
- cyberloafing , productivity , security , social media , unproductive
How Does Social Media Affect a Business’ Productivity?
Social media has created a new way for businesses to interact with clients and partners and allowed businesses to collaborate with social media influencers to draw in new clients; however, social media can positively or negatively affect the company’s morale. It can become a useful tool for marketing a business’ products, but what happens when it begins to affect a business’ productivity? Because social media has become a significant part of society, there’s the possibility that personal and business information could crossover. This crossover could halt a business’ productivity and pose a security risk for the company and its employees.
How can a business ensure that social media doesn’t pose a security risk between the company and employees?
One way businesses could ensure that social media doesn’t pose a security risk to the company, or employees is to have two phones. An employee can use their personal phone for private, personal matters while the other is used specifically for work. Another possible way to prevent a security risk could be to not have business information like contacts on an employee’s personal phone and vice-versa.
In an article by In House Legal titled, “The impact of social media at the workplace,” writer John Cleary notes there were dual effects of social media in the workplace. It simultaneously contributed to productive behaviors like being task-oriented and relationship building and unproductive behaviors like deviance. Another study by the Pew Research Center in 2016, the research found that:
- 34% of employees used social media to take a mental break from work.
- 27% used it to contact friends and family.
- 24% utilized social media to develop their professional network.
- 20% utilized the platform to solve work-related problems.
The use of social media in the workplace can have positive effects on business productivity, as shown in the statistics above. Employees using social media as a time to take a mental break from work not only helps the company in the long run, but gives employees the chance to destress from the work they’re conducting. Productivity is a good thing for a business, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the employees’ mental health.
In a 2019 article by Inc titled “Social Media Addiction: The Productivity Killer,” author John Boitnott writes that while social media plays an “integral part of many peoples’ actual work goals and can’t be ignored” it can be addicting; making it harder for businessmen and women to curb it because it’s time consuming. However, Boitnott notes that 60-80% of Americans admit that they go on social media to kill time and be entertained. For a business that is an issue. While social media is a useful tool and should be used as such, it causes employees to become distracted.
“For bigger businesses, this means if one thousand of your employees spend just one hour per day “cyberloafing,” it could cost you $35 million each year.”John Boitnott
Social media can affect a business’ productivity when it begins to affect the employees. According to Boitnott, just like nicotine and alcohol, social media can be addictive. It’s not an employee quickly checking their social media that’s the problem, but when social media begins to “negatively impacts other aspects of your life (like work).” One way that Boitnott sees businesses overcoming this “social media addiction” is by assigning two to three people to manage the social media engagement of the company. While Boitnott is focusing more on small business owners, I think it’s also needed for larger businesses.
“You might have a social media manager and perhaps an assistant manager. They should provide you with regular reports on what they’ve accomplished, improvement in numbers and details on how social media is translating into conversions or more loyal customers.” (Boitnott)
Social media can have both positive and negative effects on a business’ productivity. However, it all depends on what the business does that can determine how social media plays a role in its future. Is the use of social media specifically for the digital media and marketing teams?
Boitnott, John. “Social Media Addiction: The Productivity Killer.” Inc. Accessed 2 June 2021.
Cleary, John. “The impact of social media at the workplace.” In House Legal. Accessed 2 June 2021.